JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST SPRING 2018

Please note room locations and courses may change check registrar for updates

 

JDS 210LEC   Introduction to the Old Testament – Staff

Class # 23466        TuTh 6:30 – 7:50  Clemens 708

Critical, thematic, historic, and literary study of the roots of Judeo-Christian tradition as recorded in the writings of ancient Israel; different methods of biblical criticism.

 

RSP 213LEC  World Religions – Marla Segol

Class # 22215       TuTh 3:30 – 4:50    Clemens 708

This course introduces the world’s religious systems and their cultural bases, including Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. In this course we will examine the expression of some primary characteristics of religion in primary sources from a variety of religious traditions. We will focus specifically on the ways in which ideas about the sacred are formed and how they are used to order experience, with a focus on space, time, and story. All of these, in turn, are part of imagining deity. We will then look at how these ordering concepts are used to formulate guidelines for daily life, as expressed in scripture, ritual, cosmogony, conceptions of the deity, and ethics.

 

JDS 229LEC/HIS 229LEC/RSP 229LEC   Medieval Judaism – Alexander Green

Class # 22173       TuTh 2:00 – 3:20     Natural Sciences Complex 215

Medieval Judaism is an exploration of Judaism as a minority religion living between the Crescent and Cross, the Islamic and Christian empires between the 9th to 16th centuries. We will explore the dual nature of the medieval period for Jews: part intellectual and cultural flourishing and part persecution and tragedy. Topics to be discussed include: the origins of anti-Semitism, the crusades, philosophy vs. mysticism, the Maimonidean controversy, Jewish-Christian dialogue and polemics, the inquisitions, marranos and the responses to tragedy.

 

JDS 235LEC/HIS 295LEC American Jewish Experienc: Art, Literature, & Social Justice – Noam Pines

Class # 23464      TuTh 11:00 – 12:20      O’Brian 109

During the 19th and 20th Centuries, Jews fled persecution to become an integral part of American culture and society. This experience played a key role in their participation in art, music literature, and social justice movements. This course explores Jewish involvement in countercultural art, music, literature, and comedy in the context of the workers,’ civil rights, and feminist movements.

 

JDS 237LEC/RSP 237LEC/HIS 237   History of Israel & Zionism – Daniel Kotzin

Class # 20802      TuTh 5:00-6:20       Clemens 708

This course will examine the development of the Zionist idea from its ancient and rabbinic origins to its modern political implementation. A particular area of focus will be on the modern Zionist movement, the variety of perspectives on Zionism within the movement, their conflicting visions, and the various ways in which Zionists sought to approach the Arab population. The history of Israeli politics, culture, and society since 1948 will also be a central element of the course.

 

JDS 284LEC   Justice in Bibles, Law & Philosophy – Sergey Dolgopolski

Class # 23128       TuTh 12:30 – 1:50       Natural Sciences Complex 215

A comparative study of the relationship between justice, law, and society in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Thought.

 

JDS 391LEC/GGS 376LEC    Gender, Body, Kabbalah – Marla Segol

Class # 23465      TuTh 12:30 – 1:50        Clemens 708

In this course, we will explore Jewish Mysticism from its earliest sources in ancient Jewish texts to its contemporary use in New Age Religion. While stories and ideas are important to kabbalah, experience and feeling are its very essence. Mystics seek out deep, transformative, and even potentially destructive feeling with everything they have, beginning with their own, gendered bodies, and the strong emotions most familiar to them through love and sexuality. Often, people cultivate these emotions by means of stories and ritual practices that change or queer gender categories and sexual norms. This class will trace the development of mystical experience and feeling in Jewish mystical narratives and practices over time and space. By the end of the course students will be familiar with the core texts in kabbalah, they will have a good grasp of its cosmological models, and the role of gender, sexuality, and the body in cultivating experience and affect to act on these models.

 

JDS 396SEM  Science & Politics in Jewish Thought – Alexander Green

Class # 23463      TuTh 9:30 – 10:50       Clemens 708

Communication Literacy 2 Course – What is the relationship between science and religion? Is science true and religion merely a myth? How does the relationship between the two affect the structure of human societies? A group of contemporary critics of religion, known as the “New Atheists,” such as Christopher Hitchens, Charles Dawkins and Sam Harris, present a scathing and harsh attack on traditional religious doctrines and beliefs seeking to liberate the public sphere from the influence of religion. This course will seek to explore some of the major players in this debate in the Jewish tradition throughout the last thousand years. Topics to be discussed include prophecy, rationality of the commandments, ethics, providence, election, God, creation, dogmas and the meaning of life.

 

JDS 402LEC  Jewish Law in Development – Sergey Dolgopolski

Class # 23467      TuTh 11:00 – 12:20      Clemens 708

Historical, sociological, and legal concerns in early and later rabbinic literature; how Jewish life and thought relate to trends in legal interpretation though the centuries.

 

JDS 709SEM  Jewish Law and Theory – Sergey Dolgopolski

Class # 23475      Wed 6:30 – 9:10          Clemens 640

This seminar explores classical Jewish Legal Texts (Late Ancient Talmud and Medieval commentaries) in a comparative theoretical perspective with philosophy, literary theory and critical theory. Selections of texts and periods can vary.

 

JDS 499TUT Independent Study  Richard Cohen         Class # 19021

JDS 499TUT  Independent Study Sergey Dolgopolski  Class # 19235

JDS 499TUT Independent Study Alexander Green       Class # 19293

JDS 499TUT  Independent Study Noam Pines              Class # 20055

JDS 499TUT  Independent Study Marla Segol              Class # 19236

 

Hebrew Courses

 

HEB 102LEC Elementary Modern Hebrew 2 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia

Class # 13408      MoWeFr 9:00 – 10:25 Clemens 21

Hebrew 102 is the second part of the Elementary Hebrew course at UB. This course aims to further present students with the basis of Modern Israeli Hebrew and to assist them in developing the fundamental linguistic skills of Hebrew aural and reading comprehension, conversation and writing in a communicative approach. To supplement the course packet, enrichment activities, ranging from traditional handouts to the

 

HEB 202LEC      Intermediate Hebrew 2 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia

Class # 13407       MoWe 11:00 – 12:20    Clemens 708

Hebrew 202 is the second part in the continuation of Intermediate Hebrew at UB. This course aims to offer students further basis of Modern Israeli Hebrew and to facilitate their communicative and linguistic skills in Hebrew aural comprehension, conversation, reading and writing. To supplement the course packet, enrichment activities, ranging from traditional handouts to the use of new digital technology are incorporated in the course.

 

JDS 250          Introduction to Biblical Hebrew – Lilia Dolgopolskaia

Class # 23499      Mo 6:00 – 8:40        Clemens 708

This course introduces students to the grammatical structure and vocabulary of Biblical Hebrew. It includes basic Biblical passages for students to translate into English and to analyze. The course has no prerequisites and is offered in English.

HEB 499TUT     Independent Study Lilia Dolgopolskaia    Class # 19242

 


 

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST – Fall 2017 

 

JDS 199SEM   UB Seminar Modern Revolution: Industrial, Political, Social – Richard Cohen

T/R – 2:00-3:20 – Baldy 119

Hardly any other events in modern human history have contributed more greatly to the transformation of humanity in its economic, social and political life than the industrial revolution (steam engine, railroad, factory line), the spread of democracy (American and French revolutions) and the spread of socialism (Russian and Chinese revolutions). Revolutions opened prospects such as the universal spread of democracy, the liberal transformation of religion, the growth of a worldwide metropolitan culture, and the prospect of general prosperity.  Seeking to better understand these opportunities by examining their beginnings, we will explore the old and the new in the prose and poetry of Kant, Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Nietzsche, and others.

 

JDS 199SEM    UB SeminarModern Revolution: Industrial, Political, Social Richard Cohen

T/R  – 3:30-4:50 – Clemens 19

Hardly any other events in modern human history have contributed more greatly to the transformation of humanity in its economic, social and political life than the industrial revolution (steam engine, railroad, factory line), the spread of democracy (American and French revolutions) and the spread of socialism (Russian and Chinese revolutions).  Revolutions opened prospects such as the universal spread of democracy, the liberal transformation of religion, the growth of a worldwide metropolitan culture, and the prospect of general prosperity.  Seeking to better understand these opportunities by examining their beginnings, we will explore the old and the new in the prose and poetry of Kant, Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, Dostoevsky, Darwin, Nietzsche, and others.

 

JDS 199SEM  UB Seminar – Justice – Sergey Dolgolpolski

T/TH 2:00-3:20 – 708 Clemens Hall

“A law that is not just is not law” said recently a protester against racial discrimination. This argument exemplifies a problem we will address in this course through reading, discussing, theatrically staging, and critically applying the work of the best writers and thinkers, both ancient and contemporary, who addressed the problem of justice in relationship to equality, law, and freedom. In that way, we will conduct a comparative study of the relationship between justice, law, and society in pagan, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Thought.

 

JDS 199SEM   UB Seminar – Origins of Good and Evil – Alexander Green

T/R  –  9:30-10:50 – Clemens 708

Determining the origin of our moral beliefs and values is one of the central debates that has animated Western philosophers and theologians across time. One culture may consider a certain action morally correct and another culture may consider the same action morally incorrect. Why is that? How do we know what is good and evil, right and wrong? Is there one standard that unites different value systems or are all systems equally correct and variable? This course will not directly tackle the specific beliefs themselves (whether it be the ethics of war and peace, euthanasia, suicide, abortion or any such issue), but will seek to examine the different reasons that groups may arrive at diverse answers. We will read selections of classical works such as Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Hebrew Bible, Aquinas’ Summa Theologicae, Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, Martin Buber’s I and Thou, and view a movie: Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

 

JDS 199SEM   UB Seminar – Human and Animal – Noam Pines

T/R  –  11:00-12:20 – Filmor 328

The course will examine various depictions of human-animal relationship in Western literature and culture, from classical times to modern times. By looking at these texts, we will chart the emergence of a figure that occupies a borderline state between human and animal, and explore its implications for our understanding of Jewish and Christian relationships as well as human and animal nature. Readings include: Ovid, Marie de France, Hobbes, Shakespeare, Heine, Baudelaire, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Kafka, and more.

 

TNS 199SEM   UB Seminar – Genesis and Gender – Marla Segol

T/R  –  12:30-1:50 – Clemens 708

This course will examine the meanings, interpretations, and applications of the Genesis stories in constructing and regulating gender roles in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It will examine sex and gender in the Biblical narrative, in Jewish interpretive literature, in Christian and Muslim scriptures, and in their commentary literature in late antiquity and the medieval period. The third portion of the class will discuss the activation of Genesis narratives in contemporary American political rhetoric on women’s communal and pastoral leadership, marriage, heteronormativity, contraception, and abortion. This course will show how the past affects the present, with attention to similarities and differences in the way people use religious discourse to shape their communities and their gender identities over time and across cultures.

 

JDS 208LEC/HIS 299LEC   Holocaust Lit & Culture Noam Pines

T/R  – 2:00-3:20 – Hoch 114

How does literature impact our understanding of the Holocaust? Is it possible to actually know this event? This course studies the Holocaust through a variety of genres, including poetry, novels, short stories, plays, and memoirs to gain a better understanding of the Holocaust as a significant event in world history. Students will study Holocaust and its political, cultural, and social implications through the lens of a variety of writers

 

JDS 210LEC/TNS 232LEC   Intro to Old Testament – Marla Segol

T/R  – 3:30-4:50 – Clemens 708

Who wrote the Bible? Why did they do it? What did they want to say? And how do we know? In this course we will carefully read parts of the Hebrew Bible to understand the narratives in it, the social context in which they were written, and the ways in which they generate meaning. That means that we’ll begin with the primary text, we’ll contextualize it historically and socially, we’ll pay attention to its style, and we will try to identify and understand the big questions asked and answered in the stories we read.

 

JDS 253LEC/RSP 253LEC/PSC 380  Jewish, Christian, Islamic Ethics/Classic and Medieval Political Philosophy – Alexander Green

T/R  –  12:30-1:50 – Clemens 708

This course will look at how Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophers in the Middle Ages developed their political theories and codes of ethics in dialogue and debate with the classical philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. The course will also examine Machiavelli’s critique of these various attempts to synthesize medieval and classical ideas. Topics to be discussed include: God, the prophet, sacred texts, ethics, war, messianism and tolerance for those of other faiths.

 

JDS 399LEC   Redemption in Jewish Thought – Sergey Dolgopolski

T/R  –  11:00- 12:20 – Clemens 708

A survey of various conceptions of Redemption, in contrast to personal salvation or purely secular utopianism, as the central purpose of Judaism.

 

Hebrew Course List – Fall 2017

HEB 101LEC   Elem Modern Hebrew – Lilia Dolgopolskaia

M/W/F  –  9:00-10:25 – Clemens 708

The beginning course of Modern Israeli Hebrew. Essentials of grammar, syntax and conversational practice; elementary reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam.

 

HEB 201LEC   Intermediate Hebrew 1 – Lilia Dolgopolskaia

M/W  –  11:00-12:20 – Clemens 708

Further development of language skills: listening comprehension, oral efficiency, intermediate grammar and syntax, reading and writing. Note: Students with other previous experience in Hebrew must take a placement exam.

 


 

Course List Archives

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST SPRING 2017

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST Fall 2016

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST Spring 2016

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST Fall 2015

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE LIST Spring 2015

JEWISH THOUGHT COURSE Fall 2014